Serenity Circle - December 2018

Welcome to December's Serenity Circle - a monthly collaborative project sharing images and moments reflecting peace and calm.

Whenever I hear certain carols, I'm transported back in time to the school Christmas concert some years ago [not saying how many, lol]!!!  In my mind, I can picture the portable wooden stage; the coloured paper chains we made in class draped from corner to corner across the hall; a large pine Christmas tree in the back right-hand corner with it's decorations strategically placed around the front and sides, plus row upon row of our parents peering back at us as we sang our little hearts out.  [Giggles].  We weren't always in tune or even in time with the music, but we did as our teacher asked of us and sang out really loud 😇🙉😅

These days, I like to listen to carols whilst putting up the Christmas decorations.

I love Christmas and everything about it....  the concerts, family get-together's, decorating the home, festive food, Christmas movies on TV, plus the giving and receiving of gifts, etc.  I also like to spend a little time reflecting on the message of Christmas - the 'reason for the season' if you like. 

This year, I've found myself reminiscing on Christmases' past - those spent with loved ones no longer with us, particularly as this is our first Christmas without mum.  She passed away two days after Christmas last year and I miss her terribly.  Mum loved this time of the year - especially the music.  I can hear her singing "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger" when I close my eyes.  "Jingle Bells" was another great favourite in our home and we'd play it on the stereo and sing along.  I really cherish these memories plus lots of other beautiful times spent together.  And whilst the loss sometimes hits like emotional waves and feels overwhelming at times, peace is also present and its presence gives me strength.  I'm reminded of something Horatio G Spafford once wrote, although I didn't understand it at first:

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul."

I understand exactly what he meant now... and I know this Christmas is going to be okay. 

Photography floor prop by photo vinyls

"Wishing you all a very happy and peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year"

What are you looking forward to most this Christmas?  Perhaps you don't celebrate Christmas but enjoy family times in other special ways.  Please share.  I'd love to hear.

Next in the circle is  Janet from Definitely Dreaming.  Her photography is simply amazing.  So sit back, and get ready to enjoy  The Essence of a Forest as you continue to follow the circle around.


Nadeen said...

Wendy, what a bitter-sweet time of year for you now with the wonderful memories of Christmases past, yet the passing of your mum. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2019. I loved reading this and can certainly identify with your words.

Wendy said...

Thank you so much Nadeen. Wishing you a very happy Christmas and all the best for 2019 xx

Eileen Critchley said...

Really beautiful images and thoughts, Wendy. I know this is a tough time of year when we have lost someone. It definitely changes Christmastime. Grief definitely comes in waves. Take care of yourself and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Wendy said...

Thank you Eileen. They say firsts are the hardest. Mum's birthday was 28th November, Christmas and mum's anniversary on the 27th. At least they are all come together. Its been tough but that is normal. She would want us to enjoy Christmas to be sure. Xx

Nancy Armstrong said...

HI, Wendy, I finally figured out how to pull up the comment box. You have so many lovely Christmas memories pictured here. Your description of your Mum and her love of Christmas is so touching. You have the best Christmas you possibly can, you have many wonderful memories stored up to help you through.

Lori McLellan said...

Such beautiful words, Wendy. The holidays can be tough when you've lost someone special. I know our first Christmas without my Mom was tough - I was so glad to start a New Year and let that one go. I hope you are able to find peace in the season and think of the good memories of your Mom.

Wendy said...

Thank you Nancy. Yes...lots of special memories are indeed a help too. Happy Christmas xx

Wendy said...

Thank you so much Lori. It will be good to let go of this past year and look forward to 2019. Xx

eph2810 said...

Oh, I love your decorations. Your mum loved the same Christmas songs my mum did. How neat that you have the music sheets of them. I know it will be a hard Christmas for you, but know what you will see you mum again one day. Merry Christmas, sweet Wendy

Wendy said...

Thank you Iris! I found the music sheets online. Was going to distress and age them for authenticity but decided to leave them. They are copies of the actual music sheets from a music book our primary teacher, Mrs MacDonald had. Used to admire them on the piano stand when I Was a child. Was chuffed to discover copies online.

Yes, I look forward to seeing mum and dad again one day. Miss them very much. Hard getting used to mum's recent loss but I am glad she is at peace and free of pain.

Hugs to you Iris. I know you miss your dear mum too. Xx

Unknown said...

What a lovely post Wendy, I can totally identify with your comments about carols transporting you back to school days. Whenever I hear silent night I'm back to being a small child sitting crossed legged on the wooden hall floor as we all sang "sleee-eeep in heavenly peas".
Wishing you all the best for Christmas Wendy xx

Wendy said...

Lol 😆 not sure about the heavenly peas! But had to chuckle! Thanks for visiting Unknown. Hap-pea Christmas!😋

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